Electricity Price Review 2018-2019

The Electricity Price Review 2018-2019 is currently investigating whether the current electricity market delivers a fair and equitable price to consumers. This includes considering improvements to future-proof the sector and its governance structures.

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Why the review is needed

Electricity prices, especially for households, have increased faster than inflation for many years, putting pressure on household budgets. In comparison, prices faced by commercial and industrial customers have remained relatively flat.

The Government has commissioned this review to investigate whether the electricity market, as it exists at present, is delivering a fair and equitable price to end-consumers.

The review will also consider possible improvements to ensure the market and its governance structures will continue to be appropriate into the future, as the sector benefits from rapidly changing technology and new innovations.

As energy production and consumption is such an integral part to New Zealand’s economy, this review will be of great interest to the industry and the public.

How the review will work

The Minister of Energy and Resources commissioned an independent Expert Advisory Panel to lead the review.

The Panel members were appointed by the Minister in April 2018. We were tasked with providing Secretariat support to the Panel and its review.

The Panel drives the research and analysis undertaken by our policy advisors and specialist consultants. The Panel also provides peer-review support and technical advice where necessary.

Panel members, the Chair, and our policy advisors all engage directly with stakeholders to garner a better understanding of the differing perspectives on the electricity market, electricity prices, and future challenges.

See Expert Advisory Panel members

The review will take into account crossovers and linkages with existing and planned work, including:

  • the Electricity Authority's work on transmission pricing
  • the new Interim Climate Change Committee and Climate Commission's work on how to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • the Productivity Commission's work on its low emissions economy inquiry.

First phase of review completed

The review has completed its first phase of work, which focused on determining facts and building evidence.

The review engaged with stakeholders, including the public, industry representatives, and consumer groups to gain a better understanding of the current electricity market. It also analysed billing data from providers, which focused on prices for different consumer groups.

The review released its First Report for Discussion on 11 September 2018, and a detailed Analysis of retail billing data on 15 October 2018.

Second phase of review

The second phase of work will focus on developing possible improvements to the electricity sector.
The Panel has decided to publish a preliminary options paper setting out possible solutions to the problems discussed in its first report.

It aims to publish this paper near the end of February 2019. The public will then be invited to submit their views on these preliminary options through another round of stakeholder engagement in February – March 2019.

The Panel expects to deliver its final recommendations to the Minister by mid-2019.

Recent updates

Have your say

Final report

Following on from the first report for discussion and the preliminary options paper, the Panel intends to submit its final report and recommendations to the Minister of Energy and Resources in mid-2019.

Preliminary options paper

Following on from the first report for discussion, the Panel intends to release a preliminary options paper at the end of February 2019. This paper will incorporate feedback submitted to us on the first report, and will outline some early ideas for improvements to the electricity sector. The Panel welcomes your feedback on these preliminary options in March 2019.

Initial analysis of retail billing data

On 15 October 2018, the Panel released an analysis it commissioned on what customers pay for their electricity. The 9 biggest electricity retailers provided more than 50 million individual power bills, subject to privacy and confidentiality provisions. The Panel welcomed feedback on this analysis. The submission period closed on 15 November 2018.

First report for discussion

On 11 September 2018, the Panel released its first report for discussion outlining its preliminary findings on the current state of the electricity sector. The Panel welcomed feedback on the findings in this first report. The submission period closed on 23 October 2018.

"Submissions received on the first report were in broad agreement on the sections of the report that discuss consumers and prices, particularly on energy hardship and lack of consumer voice. However, there were much more diverse views on the sections of the report relating to industry and regulation." - Panel Chair

It will take us some time to finish analysing the nearly 3000 pages of submissions we received." - Panel Chair

Electricity Price Review - First report for discussion - 30 August 2018 [PDF, 1.4 MB]

View the submissions(external link)

Draft terms of reference

Terms of reference [PDF, 571 KB]

View the submissions(external link)

In this section

Expert Advisory Panel

The independent Expert Advisory Panel for the Electricity Price Review drives the research and analysis our policy advisors undertake alongside specialist consultants.

Stakeholder engagement

The independent Expert Advisory Panel for the Electricity Price Review and our policy advisors will engage with stakeholders regularly over the course of the review.

Contact us

For general enquiries email us at energymarkets@mbie.govt.nz